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How to Become a Wealth Manager

Career News September 1, 2013

The first thing that you will need to become in wealth management is a team leader. Wealth managers know that clients have one business purpose, to make and maintain money. This involves following market trends, efficient means of purchasing, real estate law, probate law, and new laws the government is implementing to make more money themselves. All of these knowledge areas may be a bit difficult for one person to know. This is a job that requires commitment and focus.

What Do You Need to Become a Wealth Manager?

Most people would assume that education is the most important thing. While it’s certainly a step in the right direction, it’s not the all-important factor. A high school graduate is obviously going to have trouble landing clients, so a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree is more often the standard. Subjects of study might include economy, finance or even a specially created wealth management degree.

The most important thing to have to become a wealth manager is the ability to gain clients’ trust and the moral/ethical fiber necessary to be worthy of that trust. A wealth manager is not a financial adviser by definition, but it can involve that aspect of communication. A wealth manager tries to maintain the wealth and buying power a client has, perhaps through multiple generations.

Let’s say your client is a successful manufacturer, and he wants to own and work his plant until the day he dies. However, his son has absolutely no interest in the plant. It would be your job, as a wealth manager to create a management team and a line of credit, so that when the man does die, the plant can operate and be sold at market value—not a distressed price. Then, you have to foresee probate laws and create a smooth transition for the wealth to reach the heirs. Then, you have to foresee tax liability, so the government does not litigate the company out of existence.

Who Can Be a Wealth Manger?

There are few rules as to who can be a wealth manager and it is limited only by the good sense of the client. However, someone with excellent networking skills will be trusted above others. Networking would not only include clients, since word of mouth is the most valuable advertising asset, but also networking with people who can assist you in areas you do not or cannot know, as suggested above. To be able to connect all of the people necessary to create a plan that can foresee and thwart most of the problems the future holds is a unique skill set; your team must have an outlook similar to yours to be effective.

After you have your education in marketing, accounting, law, or whatever, then you must start out working for someone else. It can be a big bank, or small firm, but it must be successful. You will not get many clients by saying, “During the past 10 years have been rough, but I will get it right in your case.” They may want to believe your sincerity, but you are not getting a dime of their money.

The main thing that you will need to become a wealth manager is dedication. It is a time consuming profession that can make you wonder why you chose it from time to time, but then comes the execution of one of your plans, and as it flows seamlessly from plan to reality, you breathe deeply and know why. Then, go to the next project, with a hefty salary and good peace of mind.

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